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|The Lost Princess of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Mysterious City
|Page 2 of 5||
"That doesn't seem like a very terr'ble place," remarked Dorothy.
"Well, it LOOKS all right," replied Trot from her seat on the Woozy, "but looks can't always be trusted."
"MY looks can," said Scraps. "I LOOK patchwork, and I AM patchwork, and no one but a blind owl could ever doubt that I'm the Patchwork Girl." Saying which, she turned a somersault off the Woozy and, alighting on her feet, began wildly dancing about.
"Are owls ever blind?" asked Trot.
"Always, in the daytime," said Button-Bright. "But Scraps can see with her button eyes both day and night. Isn't it queer?"
"It's queer that buttons can see at all," answered Trot. "But good gracious! What's become of the city?"
"I was going to ask that myself," said Dorothy. "It's gone!"
The animals came to a sudden halt, for the city had really disappeared, walls and all, and before them lay the clear, unbroken sweep of the country. "Dear me!" exclaimed the Wizard. "This is rather disagreeable. It is annoying to travel almost to a place and then find it is not there."
"Where can it be, then?" asked Dorothy. "It cert'nly was there a minute ago."
"I can hear the music yet," declared Button-Bright, and when they all listened, the strains of music could plainly be heard.
"Oh! There's the city over at the left," called Scraps, and turning their eyes, they saw the walls and towers and fluttering banners far to the left of them.
"We must have lost our way," suggested Dorothy.
"Nonsense," said the Lion.
"I, and all the other animals, have been tramping straight toward the city ever since we first saw it."
"Then how does it happen--"
"Never mind," interrupted the Wizard, "we are no farther from it than we were before. It is in a different direction, that's all, so let us hurry and get there before it again escapes us."
So on they went directly toward the city, which seemed only a couple of miles distant. But when they had traveled less than a mile, it suddenly disappeared again. Once more they paused, somewhat discouraged, but in a moment the button eyes of Scraps again discovered the city, only this time it was just behind them in the direction from which they had come. "Goodness gracious!" cried Dorothy. "There's surely something wrong with that city. Do you s'pose it's on wheels, Wizard?"
"It may not be a city at all," he replied, looking toward it with a speculative glance.
"What COULD it be, then?"
"Just an illusion."
"What's that?" asked Trot.
"Something you think you see and don't see."
"I can't believe that," said Button-Bright. "If we only saw it, we might be mistaken, but if we can see it and hear it, too, it must be there."
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|The Lost Princess of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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